Gallery of Windows crashes in everyday life

While preparing a "Theoretical Computer Science" class I teach, in which I inform students of the benefits of careful programming, I collected a few samples of underperforming software seen in everyday life.

All the examples I am aware of derive from the use of Microsoft Windows; it should be clear from the examples below that both this system, and the programs that are written using it, are totally inadequate in environments where robustness and safety are required.

If you have photographs of similar crashes and wish them to be included, please send me an email and I'll be happy to extend this page. On the other hand, I noticed a few websites with similar pictures, like DrBrad.org and the very complete www.windowscrash.com.

A word of caution: this web page does not necessarily express an opinion of my employer. I have no personal interest for or against Microsoft.

London Heathrow Airport

I was returning home from New Zealand, with a stopover in LHR, on February 1, 2004. Because of a Microsoft Windows crash on all information displays, it was impossible to know when planes would arrive or leave, and staff was repeatedly shouting departure times from under the monitors.

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Florence Bus

This is certainly not as annoying as the previous one; again a broken Windows system. I was on a city bus in Florence on July 28, 2005. The funny thing, in my opinion, is the system asking the passenger to insert a diskette.

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Shang Hai Bus

Again a boot failure. It was also in a city bus, but this time in Chang Hai, on September 15, 2005. It's interesting to see the hardware they put on buses; this one seems to have no disk at all, but a network controller.

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Toulouse Airport

The new trend is to "speed up" check-in by having computers scan a credit card and issue a boarding pass with no agent intervention. This is one of the booths at Toulouse Blagnac airport; no other option than queuing with the other passengers. This happened on March 13, 2006.

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